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Men Teachers and the Construction of Heterosexual Masculinity in the Classroom

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christine Skelton


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Many studies have identified the classroom as an arena for the construction of gender and sexuality. Yet there has been relatively little attention to the role of teachers here, or to the deeper dynamics of teachers' constructions of gender and sexuality in the classroom. This article attempts to address these issues, examining the perpetuation of (sexist) heterosexual norms in the classroom by male teachers. Drawing on data from fieldwork in primary and secondary schools, the article examines the various ways in which men teachers use discourses of gender and sexuality to construct their masculinity. It is argued that the construction of masculinity involves drawing on misogynist and homophobic discourses, which can manifest in sexual harassment. The article reflects on the problematic aspects of heterosexual desire, and concludes with some suggestions for policy and practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Skelton C; Francis B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning

Year: 2001

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Pages: 9-21

ISSN (print): 1468-1811

ISSN (electronic): 1472-0825

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/14681810120041689


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